Moosilauke, #24 for Cameron, 10.8.11

Since we had a beautiful weekend with nothing else scheduled, it was a good day to hike Moosilauke for Cameron’s halfway point of the 4,000 footers.   This will most likely be his last hike for this season (unless we get another good free day), so this was a great one to celebrate the end of a good summer.   I hadn’t been to Moosilauke since September 2006, so it was time for another visit for me.

We arrived at the parking area along the the Ravine Lodge road a little after 8:00a, and I’m glad we got there when we did.  There were already 26 cars parked along the road and by the time we left, we counted 105 cars.  We started out by signing the register at the kiosk, and then headed to the Gorge Brook Trail.

Just past the kiosk on the connector trail to the other trails up Moosilauke.

We crossed the Baker River and read all the signs before continuing on our way.  My son was really interested in the part that prohibited alpacas, llamas, mules and goats!

Reading all the signs after crossing the Baker River bridge.

My son found this sign fascinating. There was a smaller sign underneath with a disclaimer allowing dogs.

The Gorge Brook Trail is a really nice trail, never really steep or difficult in any part and continues up in gentle and moderate grades the whole way.  Part of the trail is by the brook, and we only encountered one section that looked like it might have been changed due to Irene.  It was easy enough to cross and pick up the trail on the other side.

At the junction of the Hurricane and Gorge Brook Trails. The Gorge Brook Trail goes up to the right.

Cameron contemplating his steps before crossing the brook and getting back on trail. This is the area that seems to have seen a little Irene damage.

When we reached the sharp right hand turn away from the brook, we took a break.

Taking a break before heading further up the trail. Included at this turn in the trail is a memorial plaque for Ross McKenney.

We then continued upward and soon had a few views, which became more views as the trees turned to scrubby trees and the trail became more ledgy.

Going up through the scrub and ledges.

Soon we were at the end of the scrub and putting on jackets, a good idea after checking the weather forecast and remembering my last windy and cold trip to this summit.  Out into the wind we went, watching the grasses ripple and feeling liked we’d stepped into another world.  Quickly we came to the summit, got a few photos and then settled down like others groups into the remaining stone foundations of the old summit house to eat an early lunch.

Crossing the open area with the summit just ahead.

At the summit, #24 for Cameron.

For Karl - we found the benchmark!

Enjoying the wind and scenery on the summit rocks.

View of the Franconia Range, particularly Lafayette and Lincoln. All of the range and beyond was visible. We were even able to pick out Washington.

After relaxing and taking more photos, it was time to decide which way to descend.   We decided to descend via the Carriage Road and Snapper Trails to make a loop.  I had never been on those trails, so that was a bonus for me.  We got back into the trees and enjoyed the grade of the carriage road arriving at the junction with the Glencliff Trail.  At the junction we noticed that there was a short spur trail to the South Summit, so I talked my son into going over there too.  I’m glad we did, it was quick little hike up to the summit which provided a really nice view of the surrounding area and look back to Moosilauke.

Down the Carriage Road toward the South Summit.

Carins guide the way from the summit to the scrub and down into the trees.

Junction of Carriage Road and Glenciff Trail (also AT), the spur to the South Summit is just steps away to the right on the Glencliff Trail.

At the South Summit, looking back to Moosilauke.

We then descended back to the Carriage Road and eventually to the junction with the Snapper Trail.  The section between the Glencliff and Snapper junctions seemed longer than the 1.2 miles on the map, but we arrived and had another snack.

Carriage Road between Glencliff Trail junction and Snapper Trail junction.

After fueling up, we were ready to head down the last 1.7 miles to the car.  The Snapper Trail is another nice, gentle trail and quickly we arrived at the junction with the Gorge Brook Trail and the last little section to the car.

We had a great day – the views were spectacular, the trails were moderate and the weather was perfect.  Cameron was happy with this last hike of the season and will be back on the trails in May, with plans for another summer of hiking.  We really did have a great season, and were blessed by God with safety, health, resources, good weather, new hiking friends and well-maintained trails so that we now have memories of our trips that will last a lifetime.


2 thoughts on “Moosilauke, #24 for Cameron, 10.8.11

  1. John: Thanks! He’s already planning for and excited about next summer’s hikes. It is fun to watch him develop as a hiker.

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